Jazz Arts Academy is a comprehensive jazz studies program operated by the non-profit organization Jazz Arts Project in a special partnership with the Count Basie Theatre. The Academy provides unique transformative experiences as well as musical and personal growth through our classes, our mentorship and the various performing opportunities throughout the year.
The program enjoys a team effort pairing seasoned, world-class professional performing and recording artists with area students. Consistent key personnel include a core group of established musicians who are also experienced, dedicated educators. These professional jazz artists are at the top of their field and perform at festivals, jazz clubs, and concerts throughout the world. From time to time we invite additional well-known jazz luminaries to give special workshops & master-classes or just to meet and inspire our students. We have had such visiting greats as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, Trumpet phenom Jon Faddis, Cornetist Warren Vaché, and Jazz Master Bassist Buster Williams among many others.
Joe Muccioli (Program Director) is an internationally known conductor, arranger, orchestrator, musicologist and producer. He is founder and artistic director of Jazz Arts Project and its flagship ensemble the all star Red Bank Jazz Orchestra. He has held numerous positions including principal conductor of Jazz Orchestra Atlanta, and for many years was conductor and music director for entertainer/singer and TV personality Joe Piscopo. Muccioli appears as a guest conductor for major symphonies and jazz orchestras throughout the world, including Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Wuppertal Symphony (Germany), the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Big Band in the UK, and the Adelaide Symphony in Australia; He has also been featured on TV and radio broadcasts including NPR, the BBC, SVT and the WDR in Germany. Muccioli’s work is evident in every aspect of the music industry from live concert performances to recordings, television, movies and Broadway, including various publications, CD’s and DVD’s available Internationally. His work also includes concerts, recordings and other projects with many jazz icons including; Randy Brecker, Ann Hampton Callaway, Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Gerry Mulligan, Lew Soloff, and Clark Terry.
Alan Abraham (Education Program Coordinator) is an in-demand professional musician (Drums and Vibraphone) with a career spanning several decades including appearances with numerous jazz luminaries in and around the NY / NJ metropolitan area. Alan is also known and well-respected as a dedicated jazz educator in the Monmouth and Ocean County high school community for more than 30 years. He has had a profound influence on countless young musicians and is proud to say that many of his former students have gone on to become professional musicians, music teachers and band directors in public and private schools. As a director, Alan’s jazz groups have garnered several awards for their improvisational skills, including wins at the Monmouth County Teen Arts Competition in both the middle and high school levels. Alan’s philosophy on music education is simple. In his words: “We, as music educators, should make learning fun AND rewarding.” Among his many other activities Alan now serves as Education coordinator for the Non-profit organization Jazz Arts Project.
Bruce Williams (Principle Instructor) is a powerful, internationally known jazz saxophonist who hails from our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. He has made his presence known on the jazz scene by garnering critical attention with many of his own enthusiastically received CD releases. Williams has performed, toured, and recorded with a long roster of jazz legends including Little Jimmy Scott, Frank Foster, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, The World Saxophone Quartet, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, RH Factor, and our own Red Bank Jazz Orchestra to name a few. Among Williams’ many credits and awards are the Charlie Parker Music and More Foundation, Downbeat magazine, and two Grammy-nominated recordings. As a leader he tours and performs with his own quartet, quintet, organ trio, and progressive electric jazz group. A noted jazz educator and mentor to young jazz musicians, Bruce Williams is currently on the faculty of Bard College and the Julliard School. He serves as the principle instructor for the Jazz Arts Academy.
Anthony Nelson, Jr.
Anthony Nelson, Jr. is a Saxophonist and woodwind specialist who has consciously not tied himself down to any one sphere of influence. He has an ability to float in and out of genres and has thus appeared with a wide array of phenomenal figures and productions. Nelson’s credit list includes such powerhouse artists as Billy Hart, John Hicks, Don Braden, the Ojays, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Faith Evans, the Ray Charles Orchestra, Henry McKenzie Davis, James Weidman, Ralph Peterson, the Count Basie Orchestra and the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Cecil Brooks III and T.S. Monk, and Steve Turre to name a few. His debut solo CD, “Testament: Live At Cecil’s”, stayed on the JazzWeek charts for 10 weeks. Nelson has since released two more critically acclaimed recordings; “Tenor For Two” and “Live @ Twins Jazz”.
In addition to Nelson,s many accomplishments as a musician, he also is the Artistic Director of the Shiloh Baptist Church “Jazz In the Sanctuary” Series, a jazz vespers presented in concert form. He is also a dedicated educator vowing to “give back” while honoring the teachers and mentors he has encountered in his own career. He serves as an associate instructor for the Jazz Arts Academy.
Master musician and dedicated educator, Brandon McCune is a native of Chicago who was selected early on in his career through a national audition as a 1998-1999 U.S. Jazz Ambassador to Africa, where he traveled abroad representing the United States performing public and private concerts, master classes and workshops. Brandon has not stopped or looked back ever since. As a professional musician— piano, organ, drums, trumpet, bass, vocals, and choir director— he has worked as a band leader, music director, or as a sideman for artists such as Abbey Lincoln, Terence Blanchard, Nneena Freelon, Betty Carter, Miki Howard, Wynton Marsalis, Bruce Williams, Chrisette Michele, Ted Dunbar, Larry Ridley, Russell Malone, Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Mark Gross, Antonio Hart, and Orbert Davis.
In addition, Brandon’s dedication to the furtherance of the art form finds him enriching the lives of hundreds of young music students each year. He currently serves as Musical Director for all music and dance ministry programs at Union Baptist Church (Montclair, NJ). His leadership acumen is demonstrated in his founding of BASIC Inc., a non-profit umbrella for Gospel Music entertainment, music education, and various other arts related entities. Brandon is also an instructor at Newark Vocational Technical High School as well as one of our principle instructors at Jazz Arts Academy. Brandon has a unique, nurturing way of teaching and mentoring and we are proud and grateful to have him on our faculty.
Hammond B3 Organist and Jazz pianist, Radam Schwartz, has built his reputation over the last 30 years playing with such great musicians as Arthur and Red Prysock, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Al Hibler, and Jimmy Ford. He continues to make music history today playing with renowned artists Cecil Brooks III, Russell Malone, and David Fathead Newman among many others.
He is a prolific recording artist appearing on more than 35 recordings including several under his own leadership, which garnered him a spot on the National Jazz Charts for 14 straight weeks. His recording, Organized (Muse Records 1995), was mentioned in the B3 Bible as one of the essential organ records of all time and Sesac gave Radam an award for being one of the top 5 Jazz Composers of 2007-08.
Radam also has been a jazz educator for many years, he was music director at the Jazz Institute of New Jersey, artist-in-residence at Middlesex County Arts program, a teacher at Jazz House Kids in Montclair NJ and is one of the principle instructors at the JAZZ ARTS ACADEMY at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ/
Champian Fulton is a world-class Jazz pianist and vocalist with international acclaim. In addition to her numerous European, Scandinavian, and Asian touring she is a mainstay on the vibrant New York Jazz scene. She has performed with musical royalty such as Clark Terry, Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Eric Alexander, Buster Williams, and Louis Hayes. From New York to Barcelona, Champian’s swinging style and charismatic performances have made her a guardian of the legacy of Jazz. She is a popular and often-returning artist in many Jazz Arts Project productions over the years; Beginning with her appearance in the 2008 Sinatra Birthday Bash tribute concert, as well as the Enchanted Evening of Song and Summer Jazz Cafe series at the Two River Theater. Her heroes include Bud Powell, Red Garland, Erroll Garner, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington. Champian has been an instructor and clinician and numerous festivals, camps, high schools and universities including the Rutgers Mason Gross university summer program and the Litchfield Jazz Camp. Shealso serves as an instructor for Jazz Arts Project’s music-education program: Jazz Arts Academy.
Jerry Romano is the Director of Bands at Monmouth Regional HS. As a trumpet specialist he performs with Total Soul, Jerry Topinka, The Happenings, Star Light Express at the Gershwin Theater, Lew Anderson Big Band, Stan Ruben Big Band, Brookdale Big Band and the Jerry Romano Quartet. Jerry is also an adjunct instructor at the Jazz Arts Academy.